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He is one of the guests at the dinner, a member of Parliament, father of eight and currently at work writing a major address on the one topic he considers to truly of national interest and importance: purity.

Hester is a pretty young America currently visiting Hunstanton Chase. She is the epitome of American Puritanism who is not afraid to speak her mind about issues relating to sexual purity, gender equality and the double standard.

A Woman of No Importance

Mother and son both find through Hester the route to escape from economic distress. Married to husband number four, Lady Caroline is somewhat overbearing and underendowed with intellect. Her advice to the women at the dinner party is that men are good for two things: paying compliments and paying the bills. Husband number four spends most of the dinner party under the thumb of his wife, doing as he is told.


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Brother of Lady Caroline, Lord Henry has a notorious past in which the financial lives of others have crumbled around them. Her high standing among fashionable social circles in London has lent her a marked preference for such parties that place within London than rather among the surrounding outlying country manors. A Woman of No Importance study guide contains a biography of Oscar Wilde, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

A Woman of No Importance essays are academic essays for citation.

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These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde. Remember me. But he was reluctant to speak of what he did.

This seems to be a theme with those who made a difference and when I stumbled across Virginia I had a feeling that there was more than met the eye. And my hunch proved correct a hundredfold. I knew about her disability of course, but while deciding whether to write the book I took my teenage sons to see Mad Max: Fury Road not my typical choice of movie and was immediately gripped by the female hero who has lost her forearm. It was almost as if she was a fictional, futuristic Virginia.

Well, I had to go ahead then!

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A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

There is no short cut. Dates and places and people have to be matched up until you have the full picture. My great good fortune is that one of her comrades in the Resistance — Pierre Fayol — had done a huge amount of research on her in the decades after the war when people were still alive, memories were fresh and documents that have since been lost were still available.


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One of my great interests is motivation — why did Virginia take insane gambles with her own life for the sake of another country? I believe that the tragedy of losing her leg perhaps answers all these questions. She was driven to prove her worth, to triumph despite all the cruel rejections she had faced, to make a difference as a disabled woman when most thought it impossible.

A Woman of No Importance (Acts 1 & 2)

In the process she showed an astonished male establishment — on both sides of the Atlantic — just what women could do in warfare. Women in combat is still controversial today, but nearly eighty years ago she was commanding men well behind enemy lines with daring and aplomb.

A Woman of No Importance - The British Library

This is obviously widely understood to include Virginia, and perhaps her most of all. They were scarcely a match for the depraved barbarity of the Third Reich and their supporters in Vichy France. One espionage historian, Nigel West, has explained the difference: if MI6 saw enemy troops cross a bridge it would keep a safe distance, calculate the numbers and report back to base.

Virginia and the other SOE operatives would have simply blown up the bridge.

WWII spy biography, 'A Woman of No Importance,' exposes Virginia Hall, a woman on a mission

It was this combination of intelligence, subversion and missions such as sabotage and ambush that was pioneering and which set the stage for special forces operations for many decades to come. Initially, though, her job was to recruit secret cells of disciplined men and women prepared to put their lives on the line to spy, courier messages and arms, and only when the right time came to fight for their lives and their country. If she got it wrong, though, she would pay with her life. Virginia had a ringside seat in Europe for the advent of fascism.

But this awakening was clouded by the European forces of fascism massing on the horizon — in Germany, Italy, Austria and later elsewhere.

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Yet to her horror, the mounting hatred, racism and lies that came with the march of the far-right — and in some cases the far-left — was largely met with apathy or incomprehension. Therein started her desire to alert the world to the dangers, and then give her life to fighting them.